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Letter to the Editor - November 20, 2015

Dear Sir,

The article “City-based pot heads head to Supreme Court,” published in your November 14-20 edition, quotes Jalisco Health Secretary Jaime Agustin Gonzalez Alvarez saying, “The combination of tobacco and marijuana increases the likelihood of lung cancer 18 times ... it is proven to produce neurosis, psychosis and serious mental conditions.” 

What is missing is: 18 times compared to what, non-smokers or tobacco-only smokers? What is more relevant is that marijuana-only smokers have a lower incidence of cancer than non-smokers, according to a study of 65,000 subjects by the U.S. government’s leading marijuana researcher Donald Tashkin. 

Furthermore, marijuana’s medicinal compounds show promise, with many patients finding that their skin cancer goes into remission with topical application of marijuana extract. Comedian Tommy Chong claims his prostate cancer went into remission with a marijuana extract enema.

As for the neurosis/psychosis claim, a tiny minority people already predisposed to neurosis or psychosis should not use marijuana, while the vast majority of marijuana users do not develop any serious mental conditions.

Rich Birkett, Chapala